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Controls on the distribution of specialist invertebrates inhabiting exposed riverine sediments in England and Wales

O'Callaghan, Matthew John (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Occupying a disjointed and vulnerable habitat, specialist Coleoptera associated with Exposed Riverine Sediments (ERS) are shown to exhibit high levels of adaptation. An assessment of the English and Welsh habitat resource confirms the presence of strong geographical and physical restraints on its distribution which partially explain the rarity of some of the associated Coleoptera. Assemblage studies reveal the presence of multiple adaptive strategies that enable specialists to utilise the resource in spite of perceived environmental pressures, and the strength of these morphological and behavioural adaptations can be used to predict abundance and distribution at alpha, beta and gamma levels. Furthermore, adaptations enforce varying nutrient acquisition strategies which spatially define communities. This study demonstrates the need specialist invertebrates have for a complex and highly connected ERS habitat with English and Welsh rivers, that exhibits structural variation along a longitudinal gradient. Reliant on riverine processes and subsidies the habitat and its associated invertebrates are symptomatic of a healthy and naturally structured lotic system operating laterally and across reach scales.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Sadler, Jon and Hannah, David M.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects:GE Environmental Sciences
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1663
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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